Sunday, October 8, 2023

Having a writing partner

October 8, 2023

I confess. I like the formerly known as Twitter social media. My feed is full of shiny muscle cars these days, and if you read my books, you know my guys always drive a certain type of car be it a cool muscle car or a muscle car wannabe. My feed is also full of people asking fun questions like what would you do if you found a bag of money? (That's a tough one.) But sometimes, a good question about writing pops up. Recently, one of those writing questions was about having a writing partner. 

I'm not sure having a writing partner is something everyone should do. Writing is personal. Pulling words out of the air and bending them to your will to form a cohesive story isn't as easy as it seems. And doing it with someone? Well, it better be a special someone. 

When I first published at the now-defunct Amber Quill Press, I was welcomed by the late Chris Grover, and we developed an enduring friendship. After a few YEARS, Chris proposed a joint venture and I said, "Let's talk." So we talked. And we set a few boundaries, the most important of which was our own work came first. If one of us was in edits, any joint project had to wait. The other big one was not to tell our joint publisher we'd have a project finished at a certain date. (She bent this one once.)

All-in-all it was a good experience for me. Chris and I had both been writing for years and had a good body of work. Our styles were very similar as was our work ethic. There were occasions when we asked which of us wrote a particular passage which was cause for some laughter. 

The biggest drawback in our partnership usually occurred in the middle of a co-written story when our vision of where we were going diverged. We would discuss scenarios and reach a compromise. It wasn't always easy, but we stuck with it until we were both satisfied. 

I think our partnership worked because we had taken the time to get to know each other first. Chris was twenty years older than me, and I'm sure she didn't want to waste time on an immature twit. I didn't want to waste my time on someone who wasn't as equally serious about the craft as I was. We were of an age to have lived through a lot of the same experiences in the same decades of change. Shared experiences do matter - a lot. 

Teaming with another writer isn't for everyone. As much as I liked Chris, and as much as I still miss her, it wasn't all roses. But we were both mature enough to keep talking, to keep tossing out ideas, and we were both mature enough to recognize that divergent points of view about and within the story weren't a personal attack. If you can't separate a disagreement about a plot point from your emotions, you should not be a writing partner. 

Try it, or not. It can be a wonderful experience or a journey through hell. It's up to you to make that choice. Will it cement a friendship, or end it? Your list of pros and cons will be different from mine. Chris's list was different from mine, but it hit enough of the same points that I knew we could work together. 

Taking on a partner is a big step. It was a positive experience for me, and I hope it was for Chris. I wish I could ask her, but she passed in 2019. I don't think I would partner again. It might be good for me, but it just wouldn't be the same.


KC Kendricks
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KC Kendricks, writing partners, collaborative works, gay romance fiction, Kindle romance, LGBT gay romance, M/M romance, writers on writing, writing pros and cons

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